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What We’re Reading: CVS to Acquire Home Health Care Company; Medicaid Extensions for Moms; Long COVID Affecting Labor Shortage


CVS announces its plan to buy Signify Health for $8 billion; government budgets and low reimbursement could limit the ability for new moms to stay on Medicaid for a year after childbirth; the long-lasting symptoms of COVID-19 could be keeping millions of people out of the workforce.

CVS to Buy Signify Health in $8 Billion Deal

CVS announced its intention to acquire the home health care company Signify Health in a deal totaling $8 billion. The move will add 10,000 doctors and clinicians to the staff of CVS and give the company a bigger hand in medical care for millions of Americans. CVS has looked to transform into a provider of medical services for several years, starting with the acquisition of Aetna, and this move looks to fulfill those ambitions with more doctors on their payroll, according to Wall Street Journal. The Signify acquisition also includes Caravan Health, which manages accountable care organizations. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2023.

Government, Low Reimbursement Could Limit Medicaid Accessibility for New Moms

Twenty-three states and Washington DC have announced their intention to offer Medicaid to new moms for a year after birth, but low reimbursement and government budgets could severely limit states’ ability to fulfill this promise. Currently, women are eligible for 60 days of Medicaid coverage postpartum through the federal government but care providers and researchers say coverage past those 60 days could help with recovery, such as postpartum depression treatment, and care for the newborn. However, low reimbursement rates for health care providers and limited availability of doctors and therapists has made extensions hard to approve in other states, leading to the failure to pass more bills allowing extensions in other states, AP reported.

Persistent Symptoms of COVID-19 Could Be Leading to Labor Shortage

The 1% decrease of labor force participation rate could be due to long COVID-19 symptoms, according to The Hill. Although the number of Americans looking for work or employed has rebounded to its pre-pandemic level, approximately 1.6 million fewer people are participating in the labor force compared with February of 2020. It is unknown how many Americans are still sick from long COVID-19 symptoms, such as shortness of breath, dizziness, fatigue, and difficulty concentration, which could explain the disparity. A June survey conducted by the Census Bureau found that 16 million working-age Americans reported long COVID-19.

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